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A/C Recharge Shop in DC Area?

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    A/C Recharge Shop in DC Area?

    The A/C in my '91 318i is not as strong as I'd like it to be this summer, and I think it just needs a recharge. Have any of you come across any good shops to do the work in the DC area? I'd much rather go to a place someone has experience with than pick one off the internet.

    Thanks.
    1976 2002 - "Augie"
    1976 2002 - "Ruby"
    1991 318i - "Ed"
    1995 525it - FOR SALE
    2001.5 S4 Avant 6MT - Family Hauler

    #2
    I had a similar issue with my m3
    I got one of those cans from advanced auto parts
    Ac works great now
    I can show you how if you want

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      #3
      Unless your car has been converted to R-134a spec or you can get a can of R-12 (what would originally be in the car) it's not really a good idea to mix refrigerants. Further, most shops no longer have R-12 (and can't buy new), but some might be able to do a suitable replacement for the R-12 along with a system clean out. Or just convert the system to R-134a (DIY somewhere on here (about $500)) and have a nice working system for the next 10 years.

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        #4
        Yeah, I'm just going to pick up a can or two of R-12 to recharge it. I'm not interested in doing the whole conversion to 134a.

        Was your system converted to 134a when you got a can of that stuff from the auto parts store, or was it still R12?
        1976 2002 - "Augie"
        1976 2002 - "Ruby"
        1991 318i - "Ed"
        1995 525it - FOR SALE
        2001.5 S4 Avant 6MT - Family Hauler

        Comment


          #5
          See above post, you can't buy R12. I think you can source some reclaimed R12 from AC suppliers, but it is truly expensive and if your system is leaking, its a lot of money wasted. If your going to be making repairs to the system, you may as well convert to the newer refrigerant to save money and make the system serviceable years down the road.
          --Will

          Comment


            #6
            As

            Originally posted by Clematis View Post
            Yeah, I'm just going to pick up a can or two of R-12 to recharge it. I'm not interested in doing the whole conversion to 134a.

            Was your system converted to 134a when you got a can of that stuff from the auto parts store, or was it still R12?
            Mine was already converted
            I assumed most cars were
            The 2 E30s I've owned we're both r134a

            I know there is an alternative to r12, that works with the OEM parts

            But you'd still need a shop, or someone with a vacuum machine to suck out the old freon

            http://www.amazon.com/Freeze-12-Refr...=pd_sbs_auto_2

            Comment


              #7
              Plenty of Shops in the greater NoVa area that specialize in BMW that can top off an R12 system.
              https://www.facebook.com/BentOverRacing

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by kmarei View Post
                Mine was already converted
                I assumed most cars were
                The 2 E30s I've owned we're both r134a
                Interesting, do you know if the condenser was changed or were the fittings just replaced along with new refrigerant?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by roguetoaster View Post
                  Interesting, do you know if the condenser was changed or were the fittings just replaced along with new refrigerant?
                  No clue
                  But when I filled it up with r134a it cools pretty good
                  But I have an issue where my compressor cuts off around 2500rpm upwards
                  And only renegades when the rpm drops below 2500
                  So let me know if you do find a local store :)

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I have couple of 14oz R12 cans. Would like to have my system vacuum tested, pressure tested with Nitrogen and charged with R12. Shop recommendation in DMV area please.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by roguetoaster View Post
                      Unless your car has been converted to R-134a spec or you can get a can of R-12 (what would originally be in the car) it's not really a good idea to mix refrigerants. Further, most shops no longer have R-12 (and can't buy new), but some might be able to do a suitable replacement for the R-12 along with a system clean out. Or just convert the system to R-134a (DIY somewhere on here (about $500)) and have a nice working system for the next 10 years.
                      There's no need to do a full conversion. My Porsche 924S (which has basically the same AC system as the e30) was obviously an R12 car. The stock Bosch/Denso compressor will work fine for r134 as long as you fully drain the old ether-based oil and replace it with the appropriate amount of PAG. The only things you actually need to do are replace the ports to r134 spec and replace the dryer (which is cheap). Make sure the system is totally evacuated and charged to the correct pressures with manifold gauges (NOT the quick-AC stuff you buy at the store).

                      Your stock condenser and evap will work fine with r134. My 924S blows colder than my WRX, my late-model CX-9, or my Sequioa. I was freezing my ass off last week on those 100-degree days in this car.

                      Yes, they say that r12 lines have more permeability and could leak r134, but that's really not true assuming the system holds sufficient vacuum. Try a basic conversion for the price of a $30 drier (with new o-rings) and the r134 ports before you go all-in with new everything. As long as your system isn't currently leaking, it should work just fine. If it works, great. If it doesn't, you're about $20 worth of r134 at wal-mart and THEN you can drop $500 to do the whole system with new stuff.....

                      Just my 2 cents...YMMV.
                      Stage rally/rallycross e30 build/competition journal
                      Track/street e21 build
                      visit Condor Speed Shop
                      visit Motorsport Hardware



                      [FONT="Franklin Gothic Medium"] 1985 318i/M50 Rally Car - 1988 Porsche 924S - 2005 Sequoia tow pig - 2018 GTI

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